If you have recently noticed that a guy looked at you and smiled to himself then you’re probably wondering why he did it.

This post will help you figure out why he looked at you and smiled to himself and help you to understand why other guys might do it in the future.

So, what does it mean when a guy looks at you and smiles to himself? It might mean that he likes you if he only smiles to himself when he looks at you and if he shows other signs of attraction around you. It could also be that he is being submissive, nervous, he might be hiding something or he might just be glad to see you.

Since there are actually a number of different reasons why a guy will look at you and smile to himself it is important to consider the body language signals that he showed and the context of how it happened.

Reasons why a guy will look at you and smile to himself

Each of the different reasons why a guy will look at you and smile to himself will likely come with a number of clues in his body language.

Below, I’ll mention a number of reasons why a guy will look at you and smile to himself and the body language signals that you can expect to see with them.

He’s attracted to you

One reason that a guy will look at you and smile to himself is that he is attracted to you.

If that is why he did it then it would be likely that he would have only done it to you and he would likely change his behavior and body language when you are around.

  • If he does like you then it would be likely that he would show it in a number of different ways in his body language by doing things such as:
  • Mirroring your own body language
  • Standing near you when talking to you
  • Pointing his feet at you
  • Sitting or standing with a more upright posture when he notices you
  • Adjusting his clothing when he notices you
  • Becoming agitated when you’re talking to other men and sticking around when you are
  • Showing signs of nervousness when talking to you (more below)
  • Having more dilated pupils than normal when you’re around
  • Raising his eyebrows and smiling when he sees you
  • Asking your friends about you
  • Uncrossing his arms and legs when he sees you

He’s nervous

The reason that he smiled to himself when he saw you could be that he was nervous.

The reason that he was nervous could be that he is attracted to you and it caused him to feel nervous around you. If he is then it would be likely that he would show signs of both nervousness and attraction when he is around you.

Alternatively, it could be that he has some social anxiety in which case he would likely show similar body language signals around other people as he does around you.

If he did smile to himself because he was nervous then it would be likely that he would have shown other signs of being nervous such as:

  • Fidgeting
  • Self-hugging
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Tapping the fingers and feet
  • Wringing the hands
  • Talking at a higher pitch
  • Coughing before speaking
  • Dry mouth
  • Quivering at the mouth and lower eyelids

He’s being submissive

The reason that he smiled to himself could be that he was being submissive.

If that is why he did it then it would be likely that you or someone else in the environment was coming across as being aggressive or threatening.

It would also be likely that he would have smiled only at the mouth and he wouldn’t have creased besides the eyes.

If he was being submissive then it would be likely that he would have shown other submissive gestures in his body language by doing things like:

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Looking down
  • Distancing himself from you
  • Touching the face
  • Rubbing the arms, eye, nose, neck or legs
  • Pointing the feet away from you
  • Talking at a higher pitch and inflecting upwards at the ends of sentences

He’s hiding something

The reason that he smiled to himself could be that he wasn’t telling you about something.

If that is why he did it then it would be likely that he would have done it right after you had asked him or said something questionable.

If he was hiding something from you then it would also be likely that he would have shown some other signs of stress in that moment which could involve:

  • Tightening the lips
  • Coughing
  • Looking away
  • Talking at a different pitch
  • Changing the subject
  • Getting defensive
  • Touching the mouth
  • Scratching the neck
  • Rubbing the arms or legs
  • Blinking more frequently

He’s glad to see you

He might have smiled to himself simply because he was glad to see you.

If that was the case then it would be likely that he would have done it right at the moment that he first saw you and that the smile would have appeared genuine where he opens the mouth and creases beside the eyes.

He may also have shown positive body language signals such as:

  • Raising his eyebrows when he saw you
  • Uncrossing his arms and legs when he saw you
  • Having wide-open eyes when he saw you

The reason that he was glad to see you could also be that he is attracted to you. If that is why he was glad to see you then it would be likely that he would also have shown other signs of attraction in his body language.

He’s mirroring you

If you have smiled at him in the past then it could be the case that he was mirroring you.

If he was mirroring you then it would be likely that he would have smiled in the exact same way that you do.

It would also be a sign of attraction so you should consider the other body language signals that he was showing you.

If he was mirroring you then he might also have mirrored you in other ways as well by doing things like:

  • Standing with the same stance as you
  • Showing the same facial gestures as you
  • Showing the same hand gestures as you
  • Talking at a similar pitch as you

Consider how he reacts to seeing you

When you’re trying to figure out why he looked at you and smiled to himself it would be helpful to consider the way that he initially reacts when he sees you.

If he tends to uncross his arms and legs, sit up straight, hold prolonged eye contact with you, point his feet at you, raise his eyebrows and smile and he positions himself to be nearer to you then it would be more likely that he did it because he is attracted to you.

Whereas, if he crossed his arms and legs, looked away from you, distanced himself from you, and pointed his feet away from you then it would be more likely that he was not happy to see you.

Consider how he interacts with other people

The way that he interacts with other people will also likely help you figure out why he smiled to himself.

If you notice that he tends to smile in the same way to other people and he shows the same type of body language around you as he does around other people it would be more likely that he naturally smiles that way or that he did it due to having some social anxiety.

Whereas, if you notice that he only does it to you and he does change his body language around you then it would be more likely that he likes you but it causes him to get nervous assuming he shows it in his body language.

Think about multiple different signals in his body language

When you consider the type of body language that he was showing when trying to figure out why he smiled to himself it would be helpful to consider multiple aspects of his body language.

It’s difficult to draw a conclusion on what a guy might be thinking based on one body language signal because single body language signals can have many different meanings.

But, if he shows multiple body language signals that all point towards the same meaning then it would be much more likely that it is the actual reason that he is showing those signals.

Consider your relationship with him

It would also be helpful to consider the type of relationship that you have with him.

If he is someone that you know well then it would be more likely that he would have done it because he was either happy to see you or because he had something to hide.

Whereas, if it was a guy that you haven’t spoken to before then it would be more likely that he either was attracted to you or that he was nervous or both.

Related content

What does it mean when a guy looks down and smiles to himself? Since he looked down it would suggest that he was being submissive so you should consider if there was any reason for him to have felt threatened. Alternatively, could have been that he was attracted to you or that he had some social anxiety.

What does it mean when a guy stares at you and smiles to himself? It would be likely that he was attracted to you and you should expect to see signs of attraction in his body language.

If you want to learn more about body language, a book I would recommend would be The Definitive Book of Body Language (on Amazon). It shows you how to interpret body language and understand people's true intentions.

Author

I created and currently manage Body Language Central, one of the premier sources for body language-related knowledge. Body language plays a key role in our daily lives. I hope that my website can help condense the wide amount of body language information available and allow you to make full use of it in your daily life. You can read more about me and my website here.